Beautiful Lengths photo

Beautiful Lengths Donates Hair to Cancer Patients

Beautiful Lengths photo
Photo by Jake Coughlin

When Allie Bedell was a junior at Londonderry High School, she donated her hair in Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program. The program invites people to cut at least eight inches off their hair and send it to Pantene, the hair and shampoo company, which has partnered with the American Cancer Society to donate real-hair wigs to cancer patients free of charge. Londonderry HS holds the record for the most hair donated at one time.

Two years ago, Bedell, then a junior at KSC, organized a Beautiful Lengths event on campus to honor a family friend who was going to lose her hair as she underwent chemotherapy. She got a Pepsi grant to cover the cost and encouraged 60 women to donate their hair. When she decided to hold the event again this year, Bedell wasn’t sure how she would raise the $800 it usually takes to put on the event, because Beautiful Lengths is not a student organization and doesn’t receive any campus funding. The $800 covers such expenses as scissors, supplies to package and label the donated hair, shipping the hair to Pantene, and t-shirts for each donor.

“We launched a booster campaign and sold t-shirts online to try to raise some money and wound up incredibly lucky,” Bedell said. “We sold more than 160 shirts and received checks from a few very generous donors, bringing our fundraising total to $3,190 in just four weeks. I’m so excited to know that even after I graduate in May, the event will be fully funded for at least two more years.”

How did it go this year? KSC’s Beautiful Lengths took place on Saturday, April 12, in the Spaulding Gym, and 116 donors gave their pony tails to the cause—almost twice last year’s number of donors. If you’d like more info on this worthy event, visit their Facebook page, or check out the article in the Equinox.

Poet and Journalism Lecturer Roger Martin

Rodger Martin Featured on NHPR

Poet and Journalism Lecturer Roger Martin
Poet and Journalism Lecturer Roger Martin

KSC Poet and Lecturer in Journalism Rodger Martin was featured on an NHPR Arts & Culture feature titled “Blame The Typewriter—The Poetry Of Rodger Martin” on Friday, April 18. The radio station is celebrating National Poetry Month by hosting a New Hampshire poet each Friday during April.

Martin published his latest volume of poetry, The Battlefield Guide, in 2010, and you can hear him read his beautiful “Christmas and the Other Season” on the program, which is available online for those who missed it!

Jonathan Schwartz film still

Jonathan Schwartz’s Films Screened at West Coast Venues

Jonathan Schwartz film still
Jonathan Schwartz: Animals Moving to the Sound of Drums

Associate Professor of Film Jonathan Schwartz was recently on the West Coast for screenings of his films. “Animals Moving to the Sound of Drums & Other Films by Jonathan Schwartz” was screened at the Cinema Project in Portland, Oregon on February 25–26, and a show entitled “Adjectives in the Halting Speech: Films by Jonathan Schwartz,” presented in association with the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, appeared at the San Francisco Cinematheque on February 27.

The Cinema Project writes that “Jonathan Schwartz is an American experimental filmmaker who has been making poetic non-fiction 16mm films for over a decade. In both his travel films and his more diaristic work he draws influence from certain traditional approaches to observational filmmaking as well as from mentors Saul Levine and Mark LaPore. The soundtracks to his films are stitched together from rich textural field recordings and subdued synch-sound that slides above the images.”

Michael Brindley ’03

NHPR Newscast Producer/Reporter Michael Brindley ’03

Michael Brindley ’03
Michael Brindley ’03

Those of you within the NHPR (New Hampshire Public Radio) listening area are familiar with the voice of reporter Michael Brindley ’03. During the decade since graduation, Brindley worked for several newspapers in the Granite State, but in 2012, he made the switch to broadcast journalism, still motivated by the infectious enthusiasm he shared with his professors and fellow journalism students here at KSC.

Read all about it. …

Ethan Seaman and Bill Preskenis with their third-place entry at BuildingEnergy 14

Architecture Students Win in NESEA Student Design Competition

2st place winners
Four sophomore students, (l–r) Laken Thomas, Moire Lawson, Ally Bedard, and Kim Pyszka (with Prof. Temple, far left) won first place in the very challenging Residential Retrofit category.

Last month, Associate Professor of Architecture Peter Temple traveled with four of his student design teams to the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s (NESEA) annual conference, BuildingEnergy 14, at Boston’s Seaport World Trade Center. BuildingEnergy is a cross-disciplinary renewable energy and high-performance building conference.

Ethan Seaman and Bill Preskenis with their third-place entry at BuildingEnergy 14
Ethan Seaman and Bill Preskenis with their third-place entry (against tough competition) at BuildingEnergy 14

The four teams of KSC students entered the Student Design Competition, in four separate divisions that included residential and commercial and new construction and retrofit. One of those teams placed first and another came in third, and the two other teams received merit awards. The winners got $1000 and free hotel rooms, and all the students got free conference registration and a harbor cruise and dinner at the NESEA Night Celebration. This is especially impressive considering that the students were competing against quite a few other institutions, including graduate students from Yale and Harvard.

“The Student Design Competition was very challenging,” explained Prof. Temple, “because all buildings had to be zero-net energy, which means they had to provide as much energy in a year as they consumed. Some of the buildings, such as the large industrial sites, could use hydro power from the existing canals that historically powered Holyoke’s mills, but those in the residential category had to function completely from solar power. The design teams had to do the calculations to prove that their designs met the zero-net requirement.”

Ben Swope ’99

Ben Swope ’99 Lighting Up Broadway

Ben Swope ’99
Ben Swope ’99

For the past few years, Ben Swope ’99 has been lighting up Broadway—currently as associate lighting designer for The Realistic Joneses, “an outrageous, inside look at the people who live next door, the truths we think we know, and the secrets we never imagined we all might share.” His earlier Broadway productions include Fela! which tells the story of the great Nigerian musician Fela Kuti through his songs and the choreography of Bill T. Jones, and Ann, a one-woman show about Ann Richards, the Texas Democrat who jabbed that George W. Bush “was born with a silver foot in his mouth” during the 1988 Democratic national convention.

Swope majored in theatre design and production at Keene State, specializing in lighting design, and his career path has obviously paid off. “I am proud to say that between that study and the personal experience I brought to KSC, I was able to begin working professionally immediately after graduating in 1999,” Swope said, “first as an intern at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, MA, and then as the production electrician at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston where I oversaw crews installing and setting the lighting for the productions.”

Always looking to expand his horizons, Swope went on to earn an MFA at NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts. “My career in the theatrical lighting industry is broad and expands beyond the bounds of theatre,” Swope explained. “I am part of a team of designers who light retail windows for Tiffany’s flagship store on Fifth Ave. in NYC as well as for the Barney’s store and Cole Haan’s flagship at Rockefeller Center. I have also worked as an assistant to a few architectural lighting designers. … In 2013, I visited 11 countries as the lighting designer and production supervisor for the Battery Dance Company’s Dance to Connect program, which takes dance and movement to underserved communities in all corners of the world. Our 2013 tour included Greece, Romania, Hungary, Georgia, Macedonia, Malta, Germany, Laos, Thailand, and Nigeria. It is one of the most exciting opportunities this career has offered as I am able to visit places I would otherwise not likely visit.”

Sounds like a rewarding career, doesn’t it? “I’m proud to have made it where I am today and hope I can continue to grow personally and professionally,” Swope said.

Mentors in Violence Prevention and KSC Champions peer educators at the BACCHUS Conference. Front row, l–r: Casey Robinson, Heather Leahy, Abby Darin, Kristin Szymkowicz, Virginia Mariolo, Olivia Chiacchia
Back row, l–r: Tiffany Mathews, Jennifer Wiemers, Ryan O'Hora, Jacob Richard, Matt McDougal, Emma Bass, Forrest Seymour, Justin Smith, Nick Garrity

MVP’s “Yes Means Yes: A Guide to Good Sex” Wins Best Program Award

Mentors in Violence Prevention and KSC Champions peer educators at the BACCHUS Conference. Front row, l–r: Casey Robinson, Heather Leahy, Abby Darin, Kristin Szymkowicz, Virginia Mariolo, Olivia Chiacchia Back row, l–r: Tiffany Mathews, Jennifer Wiemers, Ryan O'Hora, Jacob Richard, Matt McDougal, Emma Bass, Forrest Seymour, Justin Smith, Nick Garrity
Mentors in Violence Prevention and KSC Champions peer educators at the BACCHUS Conference. (Front row, l–r) Casey Robinson, Heather Leahy, Abby Darin, Kristin Szymkowicz, Virginia Mariolo, Olivia Chiacchia, Nick Garrity (Back row, l–r) Tiffany Mathews, Jennifer Wiemers, Ryan O’Hora, Jacob Richard, Matt McDougal, Emma Bass, Forrest Seymour, Justin Smith

At the beginning of the past two school years, KSC’s Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) peer education group has presented its “Yes Means Yes: A Guide to Good Sex” program during New Student Orientation. “This optional program has been very popular with first-year students,” explained Staff Counselor and MVP co-advisor Forrest Seymour, “attracting 300–400 each time it’s been offered, and promoting positive sexuality messages of respect, mutual consent, and safe sex.”

On March 29, the “Yes Means Yes: A Guide to Good Sex” program received the “Best Program” award at the northern New England BACCHUS Network Conference, held at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. BACCHUS, which gave the award, is the national college peer education organization. Seymour accompanied several MVP students to Endicott to attend the regional conference, as did Coordinator of Wellness Education Tiffany Mathews and four KSC Champions peer educators.

The award-winning Mentors in Violence Prevention program is celebrating its 10th anniversary at Keene State College, and April is national Sexual Assault Awareness Month at KSC. As part of SAAM, MVP along with other student groups and community partners is sponsoring various events, including the Shout Out Against Sexual Assault, the Clothesline Project, Take Back the Night, and the month’s capstone event, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: the Men’s March to End Rape, Gender Violence, and Sexual Assault on April 19th.

Cohen Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies James Waller

James Waller to be Keynote Speaker at Rwandan Genocide Conference

Cohen Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies James Waller
Cohen Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies James Waller

Cohen Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies James Waller has been invited to give the keynote address at the 20th Commemoration of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide against Tutsi at the University of Notre Dame’s Notre Dame Conference Center on April 26. The conference theme is “Remember – Unite – Renew,” and the event focuses on Rwandans and friends of Rwanda who wish to remember the people who perished during the 1994 Genocide and learn from the past and “strive to build a bright future focused on education, self-reliance, good governance, and great vision.”

“It’s always an honor to be invited to participate in commemoration events such as these, particularly on the 20th commemoration of the Rwandan genocide,” Dr. Waller said. “To join the Rwandan community as it remembers, and continues to heal, from the tragedy of 1994 is a very powerful reminder of the important work that we all have ahead of us in genocide and mass atrocity prevention.”

You can read some of Dr. Waller’s moving words from the conference, as reported in The Observer.

KSC Alumni logox300

Wanted: Alumni Awards Nominations

KSC Alumni logox300There are a few weeks left for you to submit nominations for the KSC Alumni Association Awards.  The Alumni Association Awards committee is seeking nominations to recognize individuals and organizations that have shown outstanding achievement and/or service to the College and Alumni Association. The awards will be presented at Reunion this coming June.

Please think about alumni you know or have heard about and submit a nomination.
Forms are available online in pdf format,  or you can phone us at 603-358-2369. Please don’t hesitate to re-nominate a person or group and add any new information.
Deadline for nominations is April 20, 2014.

Alumni Achievement Award
Given to an alumnus/na for outstanding achievement in his or her chosen career field, which brings credit to the individual and Keene State College.

Sprague Drenan Award
Given to an alumnus/na for his or her support of KSC Alumni Association activities and programs.

Alumni Inspiration Award
Given to recognize exceptional accomplishments of a KSC alumnus/na who has graduated in the last 15 years. Areas of recognition may include professional accomplishment, personal or civic involvement, or support of Keene State.

Outstanding Service Award
Given to an individual or group for outstanding service to Keene State College. The recipient need not be an alumnus/na.

Scene from Their First Misunderstanding

KSC Film Archives Featured on NH Chronicle

Scene from Their First Misunderstanding
Scene from the lost Mary Pickford film, Their First Misunderstanding

On March 24th, WMUR’s Channel 9 aired a special New Hampshire Chronicle piece on Keene State College’s film collection. That’s the collection that has yielded the only known copies of John Ford’s 1913 film, When Lincoln Paid, and Their First Misunderstanding, Mary Pickford’s 1911 film, the discoveries of which made international news. The archives contain, among other films, the Louis de Rochemont collection.

Academy-Award-winning filmmaker and “father of the docu-drama” Louis de Rochemont lived in Newington, N.H.; besides his feature-length films such as “The Whistle at Eaton Falls” and “Lost Boundaries,” he also produced the “March of Time” newsreel series, and a series of ethnographic films. So who knows what other treasures our film archives have yet to reveal? If you missed the Chronicle segment, don’t despair; you can watch it online.

Ernie Hebert

Ernie Hebert ’69 Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Ernie Hebert
Ernest Hebert ’69 receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Hampshire Writers’ Project (photo by Jane Eklund)

Novelist and Dartmouth Professor of English Ernest Hebert ’69 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Hampshire Writers’ Project on Saturday, March 22, at the group’s Writers’ Day Conference.

“I was very proud to receive the lifetime achievement award for the obvious reason that, like most people, it feels good to be acknowledged for work you’ve done over many years,” Hebert said. “In this case, there was an added bonus to receiving the award from a group that I have great respect for, the New Hampshire Writers Project. It’s kind of a gathering place and support group for New Hampshire-based writers, editors, agents, and publishers. They don’t discriminate between so-called literary authors and commercial writers. The result is, as a participating member, you get to schmooze and network with all kinds of different people working in the literary arts. I think that’s healthy for literature and the people.”

And we couldn’t help asking if KSC had played a role in getting Hebert where he is today. “I’ll always be grateful to Keene State for starting me off in a career,” he explained. “Without KSC, I never would have discovered the writer in myself.”

Painting photo

Student Art Abounds at KSC in April

Painting photo
Trisha III by Ashlynn Cedrone, a junior BFA major, exhibiting in 1-2-3 Go! at the Carroll House Gallery

If you’d like to experience the creativity of Keene State’s most talented visual artists, April is the month to visit campus. The art starts with 1-2-3 Go! Work from KSC Art Underclassmen at the Carroll House Gallery on Main St. from April 3–26. This second annual exhibition showcases the work of art underclassmen and features projects in graphic design, animation, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, painting, drawing, and photography. Because the Carroll House Gallery is a teaching gallery for art students, students in Dr. Kate Martineau’s new Museum Studies Seminar will be designing, hanging, and lighting the exhibition.

From April 19–May 10 the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery will host Emerging Art: The Annual Keene State College Art Students Exhibition, featuring works by graduating art majors. There will be a reception on Friday, April 25, from 5:30–7:30 p.m., and visitors to the exhibit are invited to vote for a People’s Choice Commendation to be announced May 5.

On April 25, from 3–7 p.m., 47 senior Graphic Design majors will present their portfolios for review in the Student Center. The review will include print media, web design, and motion graphics. The ultimate goal of the senior portfolio review is to network, meet business owners, and to eventually find and secure a job in the field after graduation, so visitors with graphic design needs are especially welcome. Refreshments will be available.

All three of these exhibits are free and open to the public.

Heather Gilligan

Dr. Gilligan’s Composition Performed in Carnegie Hall

Heather Gilligan
Assistant Professor of Music Heather Gilligan

The River Dell High School Select Choir (New Jersey) performed Assistant Professor of Music Heather Gilligan’s composition, “I’ll See You in the Morning,” in Carnegie Hall as part of the New York Choral Festival on March 18. Dr. Gilligan took the text for the piece from a children’s book of the same name by Mike Jolly, a British author. “The book evokes a calm, reassuring atmosphere with its warm illustrations of the moon and stars, snuggling animals, and sleeping children,” Dr. Gilligan explained. “I wanted to capture the same aura through the use of lush, comforting harmonies and a relaxed tempo. I also wanted to highlight the sense of deep love that a parent feels for a child, as this text does. As the mother of a two-year-old, I certainly understand these feelings.”

The performance opportunity came about through Dr. Gilligan’s membership in the Boston Composers’ Coalition, a group of seven composers dedicated to the creation, performance, education, and dissemination of new American music.

Lucas Braley

History Major Lucas Braley Published in Metamorphosis and Heading to Yale

Lucas Braley
Lucas Braley

Senior Lucas Braley has published a research paper on the rational theology of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant in the COPLAC undergraduate research journal Metamorphosis. The paper, “The Critical Faith: A Paper Concerning Kant’s Belief in God,” examines Kant’s rational theology and the development of his thought on God throughout his career. Associate Professor of History Nicholas Germana is Braley’s advisor, and first met him in his Topics in the History of Ideas course on 18th century aesthetics. “Lucas was immediately captivated by Kant’s critique of teleological reason,” Dr. Germana recalled, “which connected directly with his own interest in philosophical and theological questions and their relationship to modern science. … I was very impressed by his ability to penetrate some of Kant’s densest arguments, and I recall (with great satisfaction) the ‘Ah ha!’ moment when Lucas really came to grips with the profound significance of Kant’s transcendental deduction and its consequences for his views on theology and cosmology.”

It’s a fairly logical progression, then, for Braley, who is also president of the Keene Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honors society, to begin graduate work at the Yale Divinity School next fall. “I’m attending Yale Divinity School for two reasons,” he explained. “The first is my fascination with Kant’s rational theology, and the second is my intention to create a system of practical ethics suitable for the modern world and fully effective at every level of application (e.g., personal, familial, governmental decision-making, etc.) I hope to be a philosopher of ethics, a writer, and a communicator who can help those who truly wish to believe in God but find their reason getting in the way.”

Braley credits his independent study with Dr. Germana as the most significant factor in his success as an undergrad and in his acceptance to YDS. “Keene State College has done a good job of preparing me for life after graduation,” he said. “The one-on-one time that I got with my adviser was probably the best help I could have possibly hoped for, and the opportunity to have such a productive relationship—short of graduate-level work—is an exceptional feat for a department, college, or university.”

Stuart Kaufman

Stuart Kaufman Honored for Outstanding Service as Sports Information Director

Stuart Kaufman
Stuart Kaufman receiving his award for outstanding service as a sports information director

Stuart Kaufman never saw it coming. He was sitting courtside at the Spaulding Gym with his wife, Carol, at the break between the women’s and men’s basketball games against Plymouth State on February 28th when KSC Director of Athletics John Ratliff dropped the big surprise by calling him from the bleachers to center court. Kaufman, Keene State’s award-winning Sports Information Director for over 20 years—and very definitely the voice of Owls sports—was moving on to a position as a writer/editor in the College’s Marketing & Communications Office, and Ratliff wanted to give him a big “thank you” for his many years of unwavering dedication.

In fact, Kaufman didn’t even plan on being at the gym that night. “Ironically, I thought I’d take some time off from the games,” he explained. “I’ve been going to them for over 20 years, so I thought I’d step back and stay home and not have to worry about the games and the usual deadlines and all those things. But my wife Carol made it clear she wanted us to go that night, so I did.”

It’s a good thing that Carol Kaufman is so persuasive—and so good at keeping a secret—because Ratliff handed her husband a handsome wooden plaque commemorating him for his “outstanding service as Sports Information Director.” The crowd roared it’s applause, but none were on their feet sooner than the KSC men’s basketball team, because you’d be hard pressed to find an Owl athlete who isn’t aware of how much Kaufman has done to promote Keene’s athletic program and individual athletes. “I think the student athletes’ reaction when we gave him that award said a lot,” Ratliff said. “They were the first ones to jump to their feet to recognize what he had done for them.” And, though Kaufman didn’t realize it at the time, the row he and his wife were sitting in had been named in his honor.

“It was just a nice feeling to be appreciated for all the work I’d done over the years as the College’s sports information director,” Kaufman said. “People don’t realize what it takes to do that job. It’s not a 9–5 gig; you go into it knowing that you basically have to give up your life. The games aren’t built around your schedule, they’re built around the College’s schedule, which means you have to be there nights and weekends. So getting that award really meant a lot to me, because sometimes you think it’s a thankless job as you’re doing all this work and coming in to the office on the weekends and no one else is here.”

Probably no one at Keene State cranked out more stories than Stuart Kaufman. He calls himself an “equal-opportunity sports information guy” who covered the games, but also searched out the personal stories in each athlete, whether they were all-stars or reserves. “He really valued the contact with the student athletes, getting to know each one,” Ratliff said. “Even if he wasn’t doing a story, he still enjoyed getting to know them. There was a real personal contact, whether they were a star athlete, or whether they played two minutes a game—he held them all in high respect.”

It was that personal touch that set Kaufman’s stories apart. For example, he recently received a national award from the College Sport Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) for his profile on track-and-field athlete Brett Mastrangelo, who returned to Keene after trying his hand in Hollywood. His cover story on basketball-player Orlando Echevarria in the Winter 2012 issue of Keene State Today is an excellent example of the deep respect and personal interest Kaufman brings to a story. “I tell people, he’s as good a writer as I’ve ever seen,” Ratliff explained. “I just love reading his stories, because they really tell a story. He really does a nice job—that’s going to be missed.”

“I pride myself in doing stories about the athletes, not just about them winning, but about the athletes who overcome adversity,” Kaufman said. “The athletes at Keene State, playing in Division III, aren’t on scholarship—they’re playing for the love of their sport. If my stories can convey that to the audience, then I thought I was doing my job.”

Kaufman was also willing to go the extra mile and dig for the nuggets that bring a story to life. “After a game, if I’m doing a game story, I talk to the coaches,” he said. “But I’ll also talk to the players. I want to hear what they have to say, and it helps them learn how to interact with the media, so it’s a learning opportunity for them. The personal part is very important to me. I think I have a good nose for the story. This year, the men’s basketball team isn’t doing that well, so I have to find other ways to promote the program and the athletes. I try to find those human-interest stories about the athletes and use those to get the good news out about KSC sports. I’ll talk to a player’s high school coach and other players; I talk to a lot of people to get a story. You never know who’s going to provide that tidbit that’s going to make that story shine.”

That personal touch and little bit extra that Kaufman put in his stories made a big difference. Getting all those sports stories out there did affect enrollment, as they put Keene State on prospective students’ radar. “The home-town feature stories that he would do and send to the weekly papers in a kid’s home town were great,” Ratliff said. “The publicity that he garnered dwarfs any other efforts in the last 30 years. He was out beating the bushes, and he had a working relationship with the editors and sports editors at a lot of these papers. He could call someone at the Globe and say, ‘I’ve got a great story for you.’ His ability to champion a story to various media outlets—print and broadcast—and have them take it and run with it is one of his biggest attributes.”

Yes, Stuart Kaufman has certainly made his mark on Keene State athletics, and he’ll continue to get the good word out through his new role in the Marketing & Communications office. “It’s a chance for me to expand my writing,” he said. “All the years that I was doing sports information, I knew that there were so many great non-sports stories out there of students who are accomplishing remarkable things, so now I have the opportunity to delve into those stories and get them out there.”

Ted Mann

Ted Mann’s “Fantasy” Performed at Carnegie Hall

Ted Mann
Ted Mann

The NYC-based chamber ensemble the Bateria Trio has commissioned Music Lecturer Ted Mann’s “Fantasy” for flute, viola, and double bass. “Fantasy” received a Composers Voice Award from Vox Novus in January 2012, and the Bateria Trio then premiered the piece at the Jan Hus Presbyterian Church in Manhattan.

“When the Bateria Trio made its Carnegie Hall debut on January 27, 2014, I was honored that they included “Fantasy” on their program,” Mann explained. “I composed the piece for the trio’s exciting instrumentation. The five-note set found in the first measure was the impetus of the piece. It ends as it began, only in retrograde, emphasizing and then de-emphasizing the C# along the way.”